Two new sites for people with no symptoms, to get tested for coronavirus, have opened in Glasgow.

At the Central Mosque, on the south side, people were turning up to get a test to check if they were carrying the virus.

The aim is to reduce transmission of the virus even further by finding asymptomatic carriers of the virus who will then be required to self-isolate for ten days and reduce the risk of passing it on.

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The Mosque’s main hall has been turned into a testing centre staffed by the Army, with Mosque volunteers.

There are four bays with self-testing kits. When people come in, they are met by someone from the Army who explains the process and how to take the test before they are shown to one of the booths to do the test.

One of the first people to turn up was Quroum Beg, 38, from Mount Florida, who arrived with his three year-old son Hadi.

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Quroum said he got tested for his family and for the wider community effort to stop the virus.

He said: “I want to do whatever I can to help get us out of this. And also, If I know I don’t have the virus then my family stays safer as well.

“It was really straightforward with the Army folk instructing how to do the test. In all it took about ten minutes. 

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“If I am negative then it reassures me that I am not carrying the virus.”

Others wanted to make sure they definitely are not carrying Covid.

Lucile, from Glasgow, said she has had her first dose of the vaccine but said that wasn’t a guarantee.

She said: “I’ve had the jag and I’m waiting for the second one. But with this Brazilian variant I don’t want to take the chance. I’m following all the rules but it’s still not guaranteed I don’t have it.”

Tiffany Imron, 36, a researcher at Strathclyde University, walked over the bridge from her home in the Saltmarket area.

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She said: “There’s a lot of people going round without knowing they have it. I wanted to make sure I’m fine and to know I am not spreading it. I would encourage others to do the same. It was really easy.

“I was tested before, when I had symptoms, and was negative. This was much simpler this time.”

The Mosque is one of two sites in the southside, with another opened in the Govanhill Neighbourhood Centre.

Nafees Ahmad, a committee  member at the Central Mosque explained why the Mosque wanted to offer its facilities.

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He said: “As muslims we are taught to look after our neighbours and to benefit mankind. 

“This is one way we can be of benefit to our neighbours. The hall would normally be used to weddings and events but is have been vacant.

“I know many people in the muslim community who have had symptoms and they have been tested.

“We have put out a message to our community that it is available. But the centre here is for everyone to come and get tested, not only muslims.”

Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council turned up at the Mosque, on the first day it opened, to get a test.

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She said: “As I live in the southside I would have gone to this one or the centre in Govanhill any way but I’m happy to do it publicly to show how quick and easy it is and that it is the right thing to do.

“It is an additional weapon in our armoury against the virus. If we know people are now carrying it if they test positive then they isolate then they are taking transmission out of the community.

“If you are able to do it, it is a worthwhile thing to do helping take it out of the community.

“I am lucky, I can work from home and I’ve not out much other than to the shops of for a walk. If I am carrying the virus I am still taking it out there into the neighbourhood. 

“If my test comes back as positive I will isolate and lower the chance of passing it on.

“While it’s not the most fun thing I’ve ever done, it was quick and easy.”

The centres are funded by the Scottish Government and are part of ongoing, wider, asymptomatic national testing, which includes health and social care workers and students. 

Similar test facilities will be set up in other Glasgow neighbourhoods in the coming weeks.

People living in communities around the testing centres who do not have Covid-19 symptoms are encouraged to come forward for tests.

Appointments are not necessary and by volunteering to get tested, people will be helping to fight the pandemic.

The centres use the Lateral Flow Tests are quick and easy. 

The swabs do not need to be sent to labs for analysis and the results should be known within an hour, so people will know as soon as possible if they need to self-isolate or whether they are covid free that day.

People who test positive have to self-isolate for 10 days (or longer if fever persists). Anyone who needs support, can phone the National Assistance Helpline (0800 111 4000) or textphone (0800 111 4114).